Greetings from Memphis, Tennessee, where I am attending the 2008 meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, always a veritable babefest. But the experience has been anything but bump free, as my travel curse continues.
My United flight out of Ottawa Thursday night was cancelled due to bad weather. This would not ordinarily be an issue, except that I needed to be in Memphis by 8:AM Friday morning in order to give my presentation, and there were no flights arriving early enough on Friday!
So I managed to get re-routed on an American Airlines flight via Chicago. This flight was delayed 3 hours, and I feared I’d miss my connection. The flight was once more cancelled twice before a heroic AA employee managed to get it back on the board, and confirmed that my connecting Memphis flight had also been delayed, so that I would make it into Tennessee at 2:AM –which was fine by me.
Well, we made it into Chicago after midnight, whereupon I was stunned to discover that my Memphis flight had been cancelled. Looking around the airport, I saw scores of people sleeping on the floor. An entire wing, in fact, had been replaced with cots, most of which had been occupied. But I decided to embrace the moment and opt for a discount “distressed passenger” hotel instead, having found an early morning flight to Memphis leaving at 6:45 AM.
Now, I managed to get to the hotel in Chicago by 2:AM, accompanied by several scores of other “distressed passengers”. Didn’t manage to get into a room until 3:AM, and had to wake up at 4:30 AM in order to get to the airport in time for my Memphis flight.
Even so, I would not make my 8:AM presentation time. Well, miracle of miracles, I had not counted on a time zone shift! Due to Memphis being in the Central Time zone, I managed to arrive at the SFAA conference only half an hour late, and was able to give my full presentation.
Well, that done, I figured I’d check into my comfy Memphis Marriott hotel room and finally sleep. But no, they would not let me do so until 3:pm. So I spent the day lugging my bag around, slumping like a zombie, killing time. Just too tired to actually explore Memphis, except that I managed to visit a scrumptious soul food restaurant and suck back a mountain of fried chicken.
3:pm rolled around and I was desperate for sleep, so I went to check in. I was horrified to find a line-up at the check-in counter 50 people deep. The SFAA babefest conference had ended, and a new breed of conventioneer had arrived, this group consisting entirely of extremely rotund middle aged women. Yes, my friends, I am amidst a jamboree of Mary Kay cosmetics saleswomen!
So after literally waiting an hour in the check-in line, I am finally encsconced in a hotel room. It is now midnight, and I must rise again in a bout 4 hours to get to the airport again and make it to Toronto. This, my friends, is the supposed glamour of a mobile lifestyle.
I will say this, though: travel to the USA is always fascinating for this Canadian. Of all the exotic places I’ve visited, I always get a bit weirded out crossing the 49th parallel. Everything is eerily similar to Canada, but very much different. It’s always a subtle mindfuck.
In Other News…
Today’s Daily Perv Link (TM) is sent by Deonandia reader Amphibious, who tells of a case in New Zealand of a man claiming to have been raped by a wombat, resulting in his sudden affliction of “speaking Australian”.
Darth Vadum sends us two clips of serious folk discussing how Al Gore might yet become President of the USA later this year. Remember, I called it here first, 8 years ago! His links are here and here.
Well, the 2nd best drama on network TV, Jericho, is officially cancelled… again. There’s a small chance a lesser network, like the SciFi channel, will pick it up. As much as I love the show, I no longer care. Due to the previous cancellation, the reduced budget and the writers’ strike, thie abbreviated 2nd season of Jericho was far inferior to his superlative 1st season. It’s as if the institutional memory of characters’ motivations was lost once key staff writers departed. It’s still a fantastic show, and I would watch it if it came back for a miraculous 3rd season; but I don’t expect a return to its hight 1st season quality should that happen.
The plus side of the show’s cancellation is that people have been frantically googling keywords “jericho” and “save” and have been led to my new site, Skiffy.ca. So the hit counts are up dramatically!
I didn’t take many photos in Spain, instead relying on my compatriots to do all the shutterbuggery. Once I collect their best ones, I’ll be sure to let you know as I pass them off as my own. Unfortunately, in most of them, I’m looking pretty damn old and haggard. Here’s one of the exceptions, taken during a drunken winefest at –believe it or not– the Hard Rock Cafe in Barcelona; identities have been hidden to protect the guilty: